On Far Guys birthday we went out for breakfast..it is one of his favorite meals. I had a Orthopedic appointment, I have escaped the surgeons knife this time, the exercises that I do for my shoulder really worked!! I do them in both shoulders..I wouldn’t want to be lopsided. I can begin some of the Chuck Norris exercises on the total gym..not the fancy ones..I must still keep my elbows tucked in. We did our errands and on the way out of town Far Guy said that it was too bad the bank ( it was a holiday) was closed (free coffee), I said, "What the hay it’s your birthday..lets go to Schmiders for a coke!" We have both given up sodas..we have them only occasionally..I was down to one a day..then I gave that one up too. Far Guy drinks coffee. I drink water.
Schmiders the old "hang out" on main street. It was a soda/ice cream fountain. Kids in high school went there for lunch of chips and a soda. It was the place to meet after a game, after anything it was packed..there were so many kids in there it was hard to move. They served Hot Dogs from one of those revolving spits up on one of the counters. The chips hung from clips up on the wall. You could get a malt, or a ice cream cone or a sundae. You could get a fountain coke..flavored..cherry or vanilla or orange or lime. You could get a lime phosphate..I never had one..but they looked interesting if you are partial to the green color.
Otto was in charge, Donnie worked hard there..there was no swearing allowed, no fighting,..Otto would growl at you and kick you out if you caused a problem..they had pinball machines..and booths in the back…Far Guy and I used to play pinball there..if we could get the favorite machine away from Danny Hawks. Otto also sold funny cards, magazines and tobacco products. He had a successful business. There were other hang outs..the pool hall, the pizza shop.and the Dixie..but Schmiders was the favorite of all the teens in town back in the sixties.
I recall coke being 30 or 40 cents.. Far Guy says he can remember 25 cents. Now a days it is 1.75 for a medium… we had no problem placing our order for a regular coke and a cherry coke to go. There was no line of kids standing four and five deep to get to a stool next to the counter..there was only a group of silver hairs in the back that had pushed some tables together..it was the group of neighborhood women that get together every Monday and go to lunch. Far Guy went to talk with them, I just sat on my stool and recalled how different this place used to be. The cherry coke is still the same..and Far Guy declared the fountain coke his absolute favorite..but it just wasn’t the same. Forty years ago this place would have been bursting at the seams at 12:15 on a school day…main street America sure has changed. Schmiders is now known as The Minnesoda Fountain. New name, new people, new customer base..same building..same coke..but just not the same old hang out:)